For the fifth time since 2006, a new largemouth bass record has been set at Santa Margarita Lake.
Prior to establishing the new mark Sunday, Joe Alanis acknowledged that he was already in love with fishing Santa Margarita Lake.
The Fresno resident is even more enraptured with the venue now that he’s a record owner.
“We don’t catch bass this size where I come from,” Alanis said while being photographed holding up the record catch.
The 14.33-pound digital weight was confirmed via a certified scale brought to the marina by on-duty park ranger Will Wilkerson.
The former record had only been on the books for 10 months. Kenny Sims of Bakersfield caught a 13.47-pound bass in a Bakersfield Bass Club tournament May 22, 2010.
Said Wilkerson: “The fish was definitely pregnant but her belly was not completely distended.”
Rick White of Fresno, one of Alanis’ two companions, said: “The fish had virtually no girth. I imagine she will weigh a pound and a half more before she spawns.”
After the photo session, the record fish was returned to the live well on Richard Alanis’ 2010 Ranger boat. The bass was returned to the location where she had been caught.
The record owner joyfully detailed his catch.
“I’ve been coming to Santa Margarita Lake for about five or six years,” Joe Alanis said. “I’ve fallen in love with the place. Since I discovered what a great fishery this is, I come to the lake 10 to 15 times a year. On this trip, I brought Rick White for the first time and my older brother, Richard. We left Fresno about 3:45 a.m. and fished from 7 a.m. until 1 o’clock.
“The three of us caught 14 fish. Our best five weighed about 33 pounds. It was our 14th fish that prompted us to find out how big she was.”
Marina operator Sandra Lopez determined that the record catch was made in Murphy’s Bay. She also was one of the photographers.
Joe Alanis, a member of the Fresno Bass Club, said he was fishing in four to five feet of water when he made the hookup. “Apparently, she was looking for a spawning bed. She bit on a 6-inch Pro Worm called Purple Death. I was able to keep her from swimming into the nearby tulles. If she had gotten in there, I would have lost her.”
He listed these equipment details: Line, 6-pound test Berkley 100 Flurocarbon; Spinning Reel, Shimano Stella; Rod, G. Loomis 783 GLX.He is sponsored by Hardcore Bass Fishing and Pro Worms.
Joe Alanis became the second member of his fishing group at Santa Margarita Lake to hold a lake record. Rick White holds the spotted bass record at Lake McClure. He caught a 9.25-pound spot in February, 2010.
Angler’s choice title
It doesn’t always happen that the fish you find in practice will be there on tournament day. Jim Keeney found an abundance of pre-spawn fish in Harris Creek on March 3, and they were still there Saturday. The result: An Angler’s Choice Central Coast title at Lake San Antonio.
Tom Ryan, Keeney’s partner and fellow Paso Robles resident, contributed the event’s big fish after an incident that often portends a tough day on the water.
“Our first hook-up ended badly,” Kenney said. It broke off. We lost four fish that way but in this tournament it didn’t matter.
“We had our winning weight (14.71 pounds) by 8:30. At times we were catching one fish after another.”
Keeney estimated that the team caught 20 to 25 fish. All were largemouths except for one smallmouth that was culled.
Their effective fishing style this day was dragging jigs and Senkos.
Ryan had two reasons to celebrate. First, of course, was landing the tournament’s big fish. “I caught it in about 12 feet of water on a wacky-rigged Senko,” he said. “The second reason was this was the first time I’ve been a tournament winner out of my boat.”
Ryan bought the 21-foot 1999 Nitro from Jay Short several years ago.
“Jay no doubt won many tournaments in this boat,” Ryan said.
The 3.73-pound big fish accounted for $470 of the duo’s total winnings of $2,205.
This season Keeney and Ryan are competing solely in Angler’s Choice events. They are in fifth place in the standings with two tests remaining and trail leaders Jared Lintner and Nick Salvucci by 39 points.
A year ago they capped the season by placing 16th in the WON Bass Tri-States championship at New Melones. Keeney and Ryan were the highest placing Central Coast entry. Fifty-five teams were entered.
Angler’s Choice Top 10 (all 5-fish limits), Weight, Winnings 1.Tom Ryan, Jim Keeney, Paso Robles, 14.71 pounds, $2,205; 2. Herm DeLore, Jeff Smith, Atascadero, 13.08 pounds, $760; 3. Dan & Charlie Barrios, San Luis Obispo, 12.36 pounds, $525; 4.Ron Raymond, Bryan Vogt, Paso Robles, 12.33 pounds, $110; 5. Fred & Freddy Ledesma, Soledad, 11.17 pounds, $320; 6. Matt Jackson, Kingsburg, John Zulik, Visalia, 11.16 pounds; 7. Bobby Doss, Santa Maria, John White, San Luis Obispo, 10.93 pounds; 8. Darrin Bishop, Paso Robles, Del Bishop, Templeton, 10.77 pounds; 9. (tie) Carlos & Jacob Vasquez, Soledad, 10.45 pounds and Jason Newby, Mike Stiles, Bakersfield, 10.45 pounds.1st Big Fish, 3.73 pounds, Ryan & Keeney, $470; 2nd Big Fish, 3.44 pounds, Ledesma & Ledesma, $320. Bassmaster Elite Series
Arroyo Grande’s Lintner begins his sixth campaign on the tour today at the Harris Chain of Lakes in Florida. This year, Lintner is expanding his pro competition. He plans on entering a trio of Professional Anglers Association tournaments for the first time in his career.The first one is March 31 through April 2 at Lake Lanier in Georgia. Nacimiento Lake
“Crappie are being caught close to shore in stickups using mini jigs under a bobber,” said Dave Rymal, a lake resident. “Spotted bass are active. I’ve been catching them drop-shotting and throwing dartheads.” Santa Margarita Lake
Catch and release angler Jerd Buckley of Atascadero caught nine bass on jigs and plastics Tuesday. He estimated his five heaviest fish totaled 24 pounds.